Last Friday on June 19, the Texas Supreme Court ruled to uphold the divorce proceedings between a same-sex couple. The two parties were married legally in Massachusetts, but sought a divorce in Texas after they lived in the state for several years.
Initially, the divorce was approved but Governor Greg Abbott, who was the attorney general at the time, challenged the divorce. The five justices serving on the state supreme court reportedly upheld the divorce due to a technicality. Apparently, the governor failed to file an intervention motion in time. News stories indicate the divorce was already approved by the time the governor took action.
Justice Jeffrey Brown summed up the technicality by simply stating, “The record reveals that the state, while fully aware of the public import of this private dispute, had adequate opportunity to intervene and simply failed to diligently assert its rights.”
For his part, Governor Abbott expressed disappointment and called the ruling “legally incorrect.” He called out the supreme court for not addressing the state constitution’s definition of marriage as between a man and a woman. The ruling is not expected to have much effect on the gay marriage ban currently upheld in the state of Texas. Reportedly, the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to render a decision soon about the legality of state bans against gay marriages.
Despite Texas’s ban on gay marriage, same-sex couples looking to divorce in the state should consider speaking with a family law attorney. Lawyers dedicated to family law issues can often provide effective legal advice on how to proceed with a divorce in the state of Texas.
Source: San Antonio Current, “Texas Supreme Court Upholds Same Sex Divorce,” Michael Marks, June 19, 2015